Featured Image: A record 225 U.S. Marines attended H.H. Cotton’s fifth annual Thanksgiving meal event last week, when they were treated to a catered feast and raffle prizes that the restaurant, with the support from other local businesses and residents, provided. Photo: Courtesy of Maureen Aitken
By Shawn Raymundo
More than 200 U.S. Marines enjoyed a fully catered Thanksgiving feast that local eatery H.H. Cotton’s provided last week with the help and support of other local businesses and residents.
Now in its fifth year, H.H. Cotton’s Thanksgiving meal event hosted a record 225 Marines who got to chow down on food that restaurant Head Chef Javier Cervantes and his team prepared, as well as participate in a raffle to receive electronics, gift cards for various local businesses, boogie boards and a signed surfboard courtesy of Corky Carroll Surfing.
“H.H. Cotton’s is grateful for all the community support received from local businesses and residents, with special recognition to our Gold Sponsors Capistrano Ford, Cosper Family, Hovey Family, Donnelly Family, Sea View Pediatrics, and Goody’s Tavern,” restaurant co-owner Chris Aitken said in an email.
The event kicked off in the morning when the Marines were treated to coffee and donuts, as well as live music in the restaurant’s parking lot. The Marines also go to hear from 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps who participated in the event via Zoom to express his heartfelt gratitude for their service.
Speaking on behalf of lead event organizer, Maureen Aitken, Chris said the community event is an important one, as it serves hundreds of marines, many of whom are not accustomed to having a Thanksgiving meal away from their family.
“For this reason, H.H. Cotton’s annually receives dozens of emails from families across our nation grateful to have their young marine served their first meal away from home,” Chris said in the email.